The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Monét X Change, Alaska 5000 serve music, comedy at Pygmalion

Daniel Zhou
International drag superstar Alaska 5000 performed the song “White Lotus” at Pygmalion festival on Thursday.

On Thursday evening, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alumni and international drag superstars Monét X Change and Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 performed a double feature at Krannert Center’s Foellinger Great Hall as part of Pygmalion festival. 

The event opened with Monét’s voice over the intercom announcing her impending arrival and instructing the audience to behold her expertly crafted figure. 

The bulk of the “Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars” season four winner’s portion of the performance was a rousing comedy set featuring references to the gay experience, ranging from Grindr rendezvous to queer-coded stories in Disney movies. 

“I have faithfully been using (Grindr) since its inception in 2008,” Monét said. “I was part of the beta testing group, so I did the research and groundwork to find out how the app is going to work for you.”

Monét then shared poignant anecdotes from her struggles with gender identity and sexuality as a child, citing pretend games like house and Power Rangers as opportunities for her to express her feminine side.

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    “I was always jealous of other queer people … who could pass as kids, but I could never pass as straight,” Monét said. “I have been this gay since the fourth grade. Wig and everything.”

    Monét then noted the quantity of RuPaul’s Drag Rage franchises that occur concurrently each year, recalling that the fans used to need to wait for “Mercury retrograde” to see a new season.

    “I found a very shocking statistic the other day that said since Jaida Essence Hall won drag race in 2020, we have had 21 additional winners across all franchises.” Monét said, laughing. “We were begging (for new seasons). Now, they just all run into each other. … It is the real multiverse of badness in this environment.”

    The performance ended with a touching serenade featuring a baroque aria penned by “Johann Sebastian Lady Bunny” that explored the intricacies of anal fisting. 

    After addressing her loving fans, Monét then introduced her extraterrestrial sister act before exiting the stage. 

    Fellow All Stars winner, Alaska 5000, slowly floated onto the stage in a floor-length blue gown and a signature blonde wig of practically inconceivable altitude. 

    The drag sensation began her set with an emotional live rendition of the “White Lotus” theme song before informing the hordes of adoring public that Champaign — or rather, Champagne — was her favorite beverage.

    After engaging briefly with the crowd, the self-proclaimed planet Glamtron native performed softer piano renditions of selections from her albums, “Anus” and “Red 4 Filth.” 

    In her final segment, Alaska encouraged the crowd to shout out the names of songs that they wished to hear her sing. The eclectic range of audience suggestions resulted in a medley of “Green Light” by Beyoncé, “Come In Brazil” by Alaska and Katya Zomolodchikova, the “Cheers” theme song and “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” 

    Alaska descended upon the crowd on several occasions to address it from a closer distance, resulting in hilarious audience participation and numerous opportunities to snap photos of the star.

    In a written statement prior to her performance, Alaska said she was excited to visit Urbana and perform for the campus community.

    “I’m very much looking forward to appearing at Pygmalion,” Alaska said. “I love the theatre and I love going to places I’ve never been and I love Monét X Change.”

    Alaska also noted that her style of comedy was something that simply comes to her when she was in drag.

    “I didn’t curate it,” Alaska explained. “It was a channeling of something beyond myself that beamed into my brain.  I knew instantly who Alaska was and who she is and she came to me a fully formed alien person.  I am merely a conduit for her.” 

    When asked what factors she thought contributed to her success in the world of drag, Alaska attributed all of her accolades to a single trait.

    “My hot wet p—y.”


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    About the Contributor
    Lisa Chasanov, Managing Editor for Reporting
    Howdy! My name is Lisa, my game is delivering quality news to your phone screen, coffee table and recycling bin. Since fall 2022, I have had the honor of writing, editing and often-unsuccessfully pitching content for The Daily Illini. During my time at the 152-year-old news source, I have served as a reporter at our news desk, summer editor and assistant news editor. Most recently, after a rewarding year of bringing you hard-hitting stories such as “Uncut: Dissecting Circumcision” and “‘Surf’s Up’ could be the film of the summer,” I have taken over as managing editor for reporting. In my free time, you can find me performing open heart surgery in dark alleys, communicating telepathically with small woodland creatures and engaging in otherwise dubious activities. If you would like to summon me for any reason, you can find me at [email protected]. Good Yard. Stay tuned for more.
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